using a canner for pot-in-pot cooking
Hello Harvesters. I'm a noob...forgive me if I missed something in the archives, but I did spend a few minutes searching them.
Just started using a small Presto pressure cooker someone gave me as a gift a few years ago. I like certain things it can do with it but I don't want to eat any food out of it because it's an Aluminum (Al) model. The one time I tried to make white rice in it I could definitely taste the aluminum.
Then I saw this: http://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/how_to_cook_rice_in_a_pressure_cooker.php
And tried the "pot-in-pot" method with the stainless steel inner pot from my rice cooker. That was hard enough to find; many are teflon non-stick. That is believed to have health concerns too. I have the smaller Tatung model, and it's fine for white rice, but Lundberg Wehani actually cooks much better in the pressure cooker. I use a bent aluminum bar about 1/2" wide as a trivet in the bottom of the pressure cooker, and put the SS inner pot above that. One slight change is I covered the rice pot in Al foil; the lid it comes with probably isn't suitable for such high temps - it's only for covering the rice after it is cooked. I was a bit worried that water from the bottom might splash up into the rice because the clearance is very close, but that's probably not going to happen.
From working in labs years ago, my recollection is that any container inside an autoclave will reach pressure if there's a bit of liquid at the bottom of it. Otherwise, containers need to be in a draining configuration. What you want to avoid is an upturned bell that's empty: the steam will not displace the air. When cooking rice of course, there's water in there. I later tried the same technique using the SS steamer tray in the rice cooker pot, and filling the space above with some meatballs. They cooked very well and a lot of the fat drained off. They reached an internal temp. of 200F after 30 minutes, but were very moist. No other technique would permit that short of frying them - which is how italian restaurants usually do it.
So, here's my question. I currently don't have a canning model. I want to get one to occasionally can...but I _mainly_ want a bigger one so that I can find a bigger internal SS pot and cook larger quantities of food that way. (Can only do 1 1/3 lbs of meatballs at the moment) No one seems to market one exclusive for pressure cookers so I'll have to improvise by finding the right size prep bowl (no need for thick stove top stock) and possibly trying to fabricate my own lid for it. I wonder if anyone else does this with some frequency and what issues they've had. Of course, you could never safely can in a doubled configuration! I will follow the directions closely for doing that...the point is for cooking all you care about is whether the food is cooked or not, or with meat that it reaches a safe internal temp. and tastes good.
Another benefit of this approach is that a stainless steel prep bowl is easier to clean than an Al pressure cooker. With foil over the inner pot, _nothing_ comes out, and the inside of the pressure cooker seems as clean as if you'd boiled water in it.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/how_to_cook_rice_in_a_pressure_cooker.php